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Ph.D. Program Aims and Competencies

Coursework and field experiences within the doctoral program in School Psychology are designed to assist students in developing the appropriate knowledge and skills to meet the profession-wide competencies shown below. Evaluation of students throughout the program ensures that upon graduation, students have attained these competencies.    

Program Aim

The aim of this doctoral program is to develop health service providers in the practice area of school psychology who are able to apply, through careers in research and practice, psychological and educational principles to improve the psychosocial environments of children (ages birth-21) and their families.                     

Profession-Wide Competencies and Elements          

  • Element 1: Student demonstrates the ability to conduct research and engage in other scholarly activities.
  • Element 2: Student demonstrates the ability to use knowledge of research and statistics to critique research.
  • Element 3: Student evaluates and disseminates research through publication/presentation.
  • Element 1: Student is knowledgeable about and acts in accordance with APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and NASP Principles for Professional Ethics, as well as laws, regulations, rules and policies governing health service psychology practice in school and community settings.
  • Element 2: Student recognizes and responds to ethical dilemmas as they arise.
  • Element 3: Student behaves ethically in all aspects of professional behavior and health service psychology practice.
  • Element 1: Student can articulate an approach to addressing diversity in health service psychology practice that is based on knowledge of current literature and an analysis of how their own history, attitudes, and biases affect how they interact with others different from themselves.
  • Element 2: Student integrates awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in health service psychology practice and uses an informed approach to working effectively with diverse groups.
  • Element 1: Student behaves in ways that reflect values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  • Element 2: Student engages in self-reflection regarding personal and professional functioning and in activities to maintain and improve performance, well being and professional effectiveness.
  • Element 3: Student actively seeks and demonstrates openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Element 1: Student develops and maintains effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services.
  • Element 2: Student produces and comprehends oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated, and student demonstrates a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Element 3: Student demonstrates effective interpersonal skills and ability to manage difficult communication well.
  • Element 1: Student selects and applies a wide range of empirically-based assessment methods, and student collects data appropriate to identified goals and questions of the assessment and relevant diversity characteristics of the client.
  • Element 2: Student interprets assessment results, following current research and professional standards, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against biases. Student distinguishes the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
  • Element 3: Student communicates orally and in written documentation the findings and implications accurately and in a manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
  • Element 4: Student uses assessment procedures to evaluate systems for the purposes of program planning and evaluation.
  • Element 5: Students demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems and functional/dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology; demonstrate understanding of behavior within family, social, societal, and cultural contexts, and be able to apply knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including context, to the assessment and diagnostic process
  • Element 1: Student establishes and maintains effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services and others involved in service delivery (e.g., parents, site personnel).
  • Element 2: Student develops interventions informed by the scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics and contextual variables.
  • Element 3: Student skillfully uses a variety of intervention modalities appropriate to the situation.
  • Element 4: Student evaluates intervention effectiveness and adapts interventions consistent with ongoing evaluation.
  • Element 1: Student demonstrates knowledge of models of supervision for health service psychology practice.
  • Element 2: Students demonstrates knowledge of supervision practices.
  • Element 1: Student demonstrates knowledge of models of supervision for health service psychology practice.
  • Element 2: Students demonstrates knowledge of supervision practices.